John: This is John Dowling, publisher of Model Citizens Magazine and I’m here with former Suffolk Republican Chairman, entrepreneur, and attorney John Jay Lavalle. Congratulations on your nomination.
John Jay: Thank you very much
John: Can you tell us a little bit about what you do these days? I know you’ve been in the public eye quite a bit. You’ve done a lot for Long Island with your political efforts. But not many people know how very diversified you are.
John Jay: Thank you. In 2018, I decided not a seek reelection as the Republican Chairman for Suffolk County because I really wanted to have the ability to practice law and grow my consulting company. Also, with three boys, my oldest is three years away from college and the other two are coming up right behind him, I knew it was really time for me to return to the private sector so I could have the ability to spend time with my boys. They are baseball players, and so their schedules get busy, especially when the three of them are playing at once. I do not like to miss anything; I am at everything. That is my number one priority. It is a balancing of my passion for politics and government with my family life. Their happiness and me being there for them as they grow up is particularly important. It was clear to me that not only did I have to provide that time but help them prepare for college, and all kinds of fun things in life. That was the driving force behind the change I made in 2018. In my law practice, I help clients with commercial and residential real estate and I also have a consulting company, New York Commercial Real Estate, which is for real estate and general business consulting. I am also participating in some commercial real estate transactions as a broker. I have my license in New York for commercial real estate which came about through my law practice, where it helped my clients to be able to connect buyers and sellers of commercial properties.
John: You are doing most of the work anyway as the lawyer, right?
John Jay: Yes, my expertise in real estate, in the law and in government and how government works provides a lot of expertise for my clients. Having been Town Supervisor and Councilman and being involved with the Republican party, I have a unique understanding of how government works.
John: There are so many towns and villages here on Long Island, so it must be very difficult to navigate all of that.
John Jay: It is. I have found that so many clients do not understand how government works or how it operates. They are trying to grow their businesses and maybe want to buy a new building, maybe they are moving, whatever it is they want to do requires knowledge about the logistics. I have a unique ability to help my clients navigate the system because of my experience as a land-use attorney, and of course, being in town government. I have a well-rounded background; I don’t think there is anyone else out there that can check off those three boxes.
John: No one I know.
John Jay: Most professionals can check off one, it’s unusual to find someone who has the combined experience in government and land-use and real estate. I believe I’m very well positioned to serve clients in a way that most cannot.
John: I agree you definitely have that expertise, and it is unusual.
John Jay: It works out well for my clients and hopefully it continues. This is really what I’ve been up to and I’m really enjoying it.
John: From what I understand, since COVID hit Long Island, the real estate market has changed dramatically, would you agree?
John Jay: It’s changed in the short term, and we will have to watch what happens and see what the true, long-term effect of COVID is overall on businesses, real estate, and our economy.
I will tell you that the real estate market has caught back on fire after being relatively flat for a period of time. There is a new world out, a new way of thinking due to COVID. For instance, a business owner may have been looking for 10,000 ft.² of office space, but now may realize they only need 5,000 because employees are working from home. The market in general in Suffolk County and on Long Island has been good because of the unfortunate circumstances that are driving individuals from New York City to the suburbs of Long Island. They want to get out of the city and the mess that’s been created there and this need for housing has driven the demand. The positive is also the increased activity of the new residents, shopping and going to restaurants and this has helped our small businesses quite a bit.
I don’t know if they’re long-term residents, but at the end of the day hopefully, they are contributing to our economy and getting Log Island back on our feet. It certainly appears to be what is happening.
John: I am sure that our readers and your fans, and people who follow you because you are a public figure, would be very interested to hear what you would have to say about the election. Not about Trump or Biden, but about the process. Do you think we had a fair election?
John Jay: I never mind commenting on things, even if they are controversial. My answer is that no, I don’t believe that we did have a fair election. Regardless of what the outcome is, and obviously, it looks like Joe Biden has been elected President. This is fine if that’s how the people speak, but with that being said, there certainly has been a tremendous amount of reports of a flawed process; dead people voting, duplicate votes, more so than any other election in our lifetime. That is a factual statement, so it is not a matter of my opinion. I can tell you that many people even on the Democrat’s side say that as well.
John: When I was in high school, I ran for class president and I lost by 50 votes. I was surprised that I lost, however, the person who won later became a good friend. About a week after the election my English teacher asked me to stay after class for a minute, so I did. He showed me a pile of paper and I asked what that was. He told me they were votes he never turned in for me and continued to tell me how he did me a favor since I was involved with a lot of sports and would never find time to do it right if I was truly going to be committed to sports. He tossed the votes for me right in front of me, and later I did believe he did me a favor. So I know elections can sometimes be fixed.
John Jay: I am sorry that he did that, I do understand what he was saying, but that was bad judgment on his part. However, it is the exact rationale that some of these Biden people have.
There is a concern about non-citizens voting, that people that do not have a right to vote in America are in fact voting. This is something we cannot have in America. We have a democracy, and every citizen gets a vote, and whatever the vote is, it is. After which we all move on. But when you have a circumstance where people are manipulating the system, that is not right.
I will share a for instance; one of my clients told me that her son, who is in the military and votes by military absentee ballot believes his vote wasn’t counted. There are many other stories of individuals who went to vote and were told they already voted by mail but knew they did not.
It sounds like our Commissioner of the Board of Elections in Suffolk, turned in several people who submitted applications for dead people. These are instances that cannot happen. To me, it does not matter who wins or loses, well I do want my candidate to win, but at the same time it’s alright if it’s a Democrat or Republican. It will go back-and-forth, it always has. That is how our country has moved forward. But when people are cheating, it is not right. I think there are a lot of irregularities. If Joe Biden wins, I feel bad because a lot of people will not see him as the true President. They will think he stole the election. I know a lot of Americans believe the issue is over, The President has been quiet and they think nothing is really happening, but I think you’re going to see some information come out probably next week.
John: I think if there are irregularities it will come out.
John Jay: There is a lot of that is going on with the Dominion Company, and their voting machines. There was a story about a programming error that some believe changed votes. They called it a glitch, but some say it was an intentional program meant to switch votes. I am sure that the Department of Justice will see if an investigation is needed.
The Trump team are saying there could be millions of votes in question. If they are right then Donald Trump would have won decisively, and I believe that is what happened.
John: I really thought he was going to win the whole thing.
John Jay: I believe he did win. If votes were shifted, it’s a disgrace. We should have voter ID laws in America. Even Third World countries have them.
John: What do you think is going to happen with COVID? I know you have been really on top of this issue and crisis. Do you think it’s as serious as people say, especially now that the death rate is so much lower?
John Jay: My opinion is that this crisis has been slightly exaggerated, not enormously, but exaggerated to some degree. The truth is that 80,000 people die from the flu. I am not sure how many cases of the flu have been recorded this year.
John: Maybe because they got classified as COVID?
John Jay: Maybe. I do not think we should be shutting the country down at all. I believe that is a mistake. I did speak with some of the President’s team and laid out what I thought the President should do if the virus comes back for a second or third wave. I think the right answer is simple. We shut nothing down, we don’t make healthy people stay home and keep them out of work and we say to those who have a pre-existing condition that puts them at risk, or if they are older, over 70 perhaps, that we will pay those high-risk individuals to stay home.
John: That is a great idea!
John Jay: It is probably a solution that would cost about $500 billion instead of several trillion. I think it is ridiculous to pay healthy people to not work. I could tell you countless stories of people who have children that are in college and who work during the summer that received unemployment. They were making $800 a week by not working. They didn’t deserve to get an unemployment check, that wasn’t what that funding should have been used for. We should pay the people who are at risk to stay home. We can take care of those who need it, but we must keep America moving, we must keep the economy going and we can do this and keep people safe. That’s what we should be doing. I do think people need to be a little bit more mindful of our elderly citizens. Perhaps we could be adding to their Social Security payments, which would give them an incentive to stay home and safe.
John: I think that is a productive and smart way to handle the crisis. Thank you for your insights, which are valuable. Congratulations on your nomination, I look forward to your continued incite and future interviews.
John Jay: Thank you John and thank you for the nomination, it is truly an honor.
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